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    Philippa On The Ice Philippa Werry at an Antarctic research camp 2016

New Zealand Science Teacher

Standing Committees

Sun and sea for science technicians

Plans are underway for this year’s conSTANZ conference, to be held in Nelson.

paterson inlet early morning slice 565

Science technicians making their way to Nelson for their conference this year can probably expect warm weather from the sunshine capital.

They’ll also have a warm welcome from their colleagues, at this year’s Science Technicians Association of New Zealand (conSTANZ) conference, which is held every second year.

The 2015 conference, the eighth to be held by the association, will run from Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 October, at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT).

ConSTANZ treasurer and Nelson College science technician Sarah Milligan says many details, such as guest speakers, field trips and workshops, are yet to be finalised, but an inspiring science-packed weekend is promised.

“Science technicians come to the job from a huge variety of backgrounds – some have strengths in chemistry, others biology, others in different areas of science, so our conferences offers a chance to develop skills in new areas,” she says.

In each location, conSTANZ is organised by a team of local technicians. This year the technicians are based in Nelson, Tasman, and Golden Bay schools.

Such conferences offer a welcome opportunity to meet colleagues in what can sometimes be an isolated job, says Sarah.

smoking experiment

“Most schools only have one technician, so it can be lonely work, especially for people new to the job. One of the main purposes of the conferences is for technicians to meet each other and build networks.”

This year’s event will also provide a chance to collaborate and share ideas.

“Often the job involves making things up as you go along, so new ideas from other technicians are always welcome,” she says. 

Because part of a school technician’s job is to source and purchase equipment, trade tables will be set up for delegates. There will also be workshops about handling, storing and disposing of chemicals.

Register for conSTANZ 2015 here.

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